We Don’t Have to Live Like This
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14
If you’ve read my blog for a while, I imagine you might think I’m a bit of a broken record – repeating the same message of transformation over and over. It’s a fair criticism. I do write on different aspects of faith and recovery, but most of my blog posts revolve around trading the old life for the new one. When I share my life story with those struggling with drugs, it’s the same. I have one message – I know you struggle, but you don’t have to be enslaved to the struggle. You don’t have to live this way. There is a new life available. Forgiveness and freedom are waiting. You were made for more than this.
This was Paul’s message in today’s passage. In it, he said that because of Christ’s sacrificial death, we can be forgiven. By placing our faith in God, we’re transferred from the old life, the kingdom of darkness, into the new life, the kingdom of the son. We’re not made perfect when this happens. Passages like this sometimes make it sound like becoming a Christian means all the old struggles just miraculously go away. Paul previously explained this isn’t the case (Philippians 3:20) when he said that, as Christians, we have a heavenly citizenship but for now, we remain in these flawed bodies.
So, we’re not made perfect, and we will still struggle, but now we have something we didn’t have before – the new life. We now have the option to live differently. Whereas we previously lived only for ourselves, now, we can daily pursue the new life fond only in a relationship with God. If we choose, we can still chase the old life. That’s always an option, and it retains its appeal. Unhealthy food still tastes good. Illicit sex is still attractive. Drugs and alcohol will still get us high. If we pursue those things, we can still become enslaved to them, causing ourselves pain and misery. Becoming a Christian doesn’t shield us from the consequences of our self-destructive actions.
The glorious message of the gospel though, is that, because of Christ’s sacrifice, we now have a new life available. Daily, and every day for the rest of our lives, our job as Christians is to bring that reality into existence here and now. Daily, we must abandon our selves to follow God. We won’t do it perfectly. We will stumble and fall, but in God, there is always forgiveness and new life. Our job is to respond appropriately by going out and living that new life today.